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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - my experiments with DIY and minimalism.

A woman's discovery of minimalism and her various DIY home decor experiments.

Suddenly minimalism has gone mainstream in India and it’s got everyone talking! Minimalism refers to a lifestyle that is all about living with less and closely associated with the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. The idea is to reduce what you do need, reuse what you consume and recycle old things to new form. Being a minimalist doesn’t mean throwing away your possessions, but it does require you to gain a new perspective on things.

A year and half ago I began appreciating the value of living a minimal life because my family’s living spaces were getting smaller and our lives busier. I began expanding what I know about minimalism by interacting with mnmlgrl through her Instagram handle @mnmlgrlblog. This increased my interest in the topic and I began viewing it as a viable lifestyle. Armed with a simple question – “Do I really need this?”, I went ahead trying to simplify my life. This question created a gate through which only valued items would enter my home and the non-essential left it. If I answered yes, I tried to substitute it with an existing item in my home. Our home is also a one in-one out home, so every time we bring something into our home, we donate an unused or gently used item from our home. Minimalism also encouraged me to create things from scratch.

Here are few experiments I did to spruce up my home with things I already had lying around –

1. Vases – Instead of buying new vases which can quickly go over budget, I reused existing household items like colored glass bottles, aluminum jug and recycled milkshake bottles as vases.

2. Planters – Decorative containers for plants especially for indoor plants can be expensive. Plus I enjoyed changing things up now and then which I couldn't if I bought dedicated planters. Any large container could be used as planters - old woven baskets, brass pots, terracotta bowls etc. So I upcycled a terracotta Biryani Handi and placed a potted plant inside it, for another DIY (this was everyone's favorite!) I used an old wooden plank to hang glass bottles with money plant stems running through them.

3. Throws –Don't get me started with throws. Suddenly, the throw is the accessory everyone is going crazy over and you can't open a single Instagram home decor enthusiast without seeing a throw flung casually across a chair! There are so many options that can double up as throws - quilts, blankets, folded saris, dupattas etc. Here I reused a fridge runner as a throw and look how great it looks!

4. Local flowers – Minimalism made me more aware of my surroundings and I began appreciating what I use from around me. I found these gorgeous plumerias in my apartment complex - they're beautiful and brighten up my home and they're FREE! I highly recommend continuing the tradition of picking local flowers like our mothers and fathers before us and using these picked blooms to decorate your home. They make any space cozy.

6. Wall Décor - You are only limited by your imagination here. You can hang up old dhuries, frame your child's artwork, string a collection of dried leaves and fairy lights etc. I love how the old woven baskets add texture to my walls. They were ecofriendly, cheap and beautiful - sasta, sundar aur tikau.

I believe a home can be styled with few items with stuff around the home, lots of imagination and light personal touch. Try it out. Experiment. And do share your DIY experiences in the comment section below!

Anupma, an IT Professional and décor enthusiast who loves Travel, Food & Theatre. Inspired by nature and believes in simple living. All images used in the article are from her lovely home!

This article was edited by mnmlgrl.

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